HomeInvestmentWho’s Really Sending Aid to Ukraine?

Who’s Really Sending Aid to Ukraine?

Romanian President Klaus Iohannis, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky, Italian Prime Minister Mario Draghi, German Chancellor Olaf Scholz and French President Emmanuel Macron arrive for a press conference in at Marinsky Palace in Kyiv on June 16.


ludovic marin/Press Pool

On Thursday four European leaders visited Kyiv, met with Ukrainian President

Volodymyr Zelensky,

and hit the right notes in public remarks. Feel-good moments won’t reverse Russia’s recent battlefield gains, however, and Europe has fallen down on military assistance for Ukraine.

No one expected much to come from the visit, but at least it didn’t appear to be harmful, as some in Kyiv had feared. The leaders of Germany, Romania, France and Italy announced that they support granting Ukraine European Union candidate status. French President

Emmanuel Macron

also said Paris will send six more Caesar self-propelled howitzers to add to the 12 already in Ukraine. That’s welcome news but still an underwhelming contribution from the EU’s leading military power.

Mr. Macron said Thursday that he wants Ukraine to win the war, and that’s an improvement over ruminating about the need to not humiliate Russia. But he also wants to take the lead in negotiating an end to the fighting. He’d have more credibility if Paris, along with other major European nations, contributed their fair share to Ukraine’s defense.

A new working report from the Kiel Institute for the World Economy, a German research institute, sheds light on the issue. It’s clear that many countries are significantly helping Ukraine while others are mostly talking since the war began.

“In total, we trace €85 billion in government-to-government commitments from January 24, 2022, until June 7,” the paper reports. The totals are a combination of financial, humanitarian and military assistance.

The U.S. remains the biggest overall contributor, with €42.7 billion, or about half of the commitments, while the EU has ponied up €27.2 billion across countries and European institutions. “It is remarkable that the US alone has committed considerably more than all EU countries combined, in whose immediate neighborhood the war is raging,” the paper notes.

Commitments are also distinct from what actually arrives. Washington has delivered only 48% of its disclosed “military in-kind aid”—that is, military assistance that excludes financial aid for military purposes. (The nearby chart shows the relative amount of military-in-kind aid through June 7.) Only some 10% of American aid comes directly in the form of material or equipment like missiles or helicopters, but the U.S. still outpaces every other nation. Poland is a close second, having sent all of what it promised. It’s followed by the United Kingdom, Canada, Norway, Estonia and Latvia.

This is where it gets embarrassing for Europe’s biggest economies. Latvia—with a population of 1.8 million and a gross domestic product comparable to Vermont’s—apparently has delivered more than Germany, France and Italy. The paper warns that there may be “hidden support” but that “these countries ultimately revealed the value of most of their military aid.”

The war in Ukraine has receded in Western media attention, but it is far from over. Russia‘s advantage in artillery and rocket systems is helping it gain ground in the Donbas, and Mr. Putin is counting on war fatigue and economic strain to reduce Western support for Kyiv. It’s not politically sustainable for the U.S. to do so much more than wealthy European nations.

The European laggards can do more to deter an imperial regime in their neighborhood, and the relative aid discrepancies deserve to be a priority for discussion when the NATO states meet at their summit this month.

Journal Editorial Report: Paul Gigot interviews military analyst Seth Jones. Images: AP/Getty Images Composite: Mark Kelly

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Appeared in the June 17, 2022, print edition as ‘Who’s Really Helping Ukraine?.’

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